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THE NEAR EAST AND AFRICA-Continued
THE BRITISH COMMONWEALTH OF NATIONS
CONFERENCES AT WASHINGTON BETWEEN PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT AND PRIME MINISTER CHURCHILL, WITH THEIR ADVISERS, DECEMBER 1941-JANUARY 1942
[Prime Minister Churchill came to Washington for conferences with President Roosevelt, December 22, 1941-January 14, 1942, interrupted by trips to Ottawa and Palm Beach.
The Declaration by the United Nations, signed January 1, 1942, was negotiated and issued while this Conference was in progress. Correspondence on this Declaration is scheduled for publication in Foreign Relations, 1942, Volume I.
The Free French on December 24 seized the islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon. For correspondence on this subject, see Volume II, pages 540 ff. Later correspondence is scheduled for publication in Foreign Relations, 1942, Volume II.
This Washington Conference dealt primarily with plans for the military and naval conduct of the war. The records of the Conference are scheduled for publication in a subsequent volume of Foreign Relations.]
NEGOTIATIONS FOR A LEND-LEASE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
The British Prime Minister (Churchill) to President Roosevelt1
I agree with your proposal to stave off our difficulties by sending a warship to Cape Town to collect the gold at our disposal there amounting, I believe, to about 30 million sterling. I ought to let you know that this transaction will almost certainly become known to the world with varying reactions.
Meanwhile I learned with pleasure from Mr. Purvis of his talk with you and Mr. Morgenthau on Monday. Instructions have been given to furnish you with any further figures about our requirements which you may seek.
Transmitted to the President by Mr. Nevile Butler, Counselor of the British Embassy, on January 2, 1941.
2 Arthur Purvis, Chairman of the British Supply Council in North America. *Henry Morgenthau, Jr., Secretary of the Treasury. 'December 30, 1940.
We are deeply grateful for all your understanding of the problems which will be thrown up in the interval before Congress approves your proposals.5 It is not only a question of total amounts but of how we are to live through a period which may perhaps extend to February 15th. What would be the effect upon the world situation if we had to default on payments to your contractors who have their workmen to pay? The idea that in the interval we shall either have to default or be stripped bare of our last resources is full of danger and causes us profound anxiety. I feel sure this will be ever in your thoughts.
Furthermore apart from the general totals and interim period there arises a group of problems about the scope of your plan after being approved by Congress. What is to be done about the immensely heavy payments still due to be made under existing orders before delivery is completed? Substantial advance payments on these same orders have already denuded our resources. We have unceasing need for various American commodities not definitely weapons: for instance raw materials and oil. Canada and other Dominions, Greece and also Poland and Czechoslovakia, have clamant dollar needs to keep their war effort alive. I do not seek to know immediately how you will solve these later questions. We shall be entirely ready for our part to lay bare to you all our resources and liabilities around the world, and we shall seek no more help than the common cause demands. We naturally wish to feel sure that the powers with which you propose to arm yourself will be sufficiently wide to deal with these larger matters, subject to all proper consideration. Without prompt and effective solution of these problems Hitlerism cannot be extirpated from Europe, Africa and Asia.
Memorandum by President Roosevelt to the Secretary of State
HYDE PARK, N. Y., January 11, 1941.
I think you have seen a copy of this message from Churchill which I got on January second. I really ought to send some answer.
1. The situation in regard to British payments for materials already ordered in this country is not clear.
5 The proposals referred to related to President Roosevelt's decision to lease goods to the British rather than demand dollar payment for them. See address by the President, December 29, 1940, Department of State Bulletin, January 4, 1941, p. 3.
No record of an answer is found in Department files. See, however, telegram dated January 16, 1941, from President Roosevelt to Prime Minister Churchill, printed in F. D. R., His Personal Letters, 1928–1945, vol. II, p. 1107.